Go First: India’s first ultra-low-cost airline?

Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK

Ahead of the proposed initial public offering under which the Indian ultra-low-cost air carrier GoAir will offer fresh equity shares, the Mumbai-based airline rebranded itself as GoFirst.

After 15 years in operations, GoAir has changed its name to Go First while aiming to become India’s first ultra-low-cost airline. The company is now preparing to go for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) through which the air carrier expects to gain a significant capital injection of up to $491 million (36 billion rupees). The net proceeds from the IPO, which is expected to take place in the summer of 2021, are expected to be used for the company’s expansion as well as to cover all or a part of the outstanding borrowings.

Speaking to media on May 14, 2021, Kaushik Khona, the CEO of Go First, outlined that together with the rebranding, the company aimed to switch its previous low-cost business model into ultra-low-cost services. The measure should shrink Go First’s dependence on the parent company Wadia Group. 

Besides, Go First expects that the new strategy will enable it to offer its customers “a  combination of ultra-competitive fares and a safe flying experience.” Khona pointed out the airline “sees opportunities ahead” to strengthen its position in the market by cutting already low service fares.

“Even as the times continue to be extraordinary, Go First sees opportunities ahead. This rebranding reflects our confidence in the brighter tomorrow. The Go First Team will strive to deliver the brand and make ‘You Come First’ a reality,” Khona said.  

Go First plans to continue operating the Airbus A320 fleet, currently consisting of 55 A320 Family jets. The air carrier also has 3 Airbus A320neos on order, the Planespotters.com data showed. As for livery, the new Go First will keep similar blue on its tailfin and replenish it with a sunrise theme.

GoAir reported a net loss of $17.4 million (1.28 billion rupees) in FY20. According to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data, by the end of 2020, GoAir was the fourth Indian low-cost carrier after IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Air India, having a market share of 8.9% in the country. 


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